Free to Be Kids
Free to Be Kids runs crucial respite breaks for inner-city London's most disadvantaged children. Our breaks offer the opportunity for children to have fun, try new things, build their confidence and feel brave. The holidays are packed with nature and animal focused activities like kayaking down a river or den building in the forest. Without our breaks, many of these children wouldn't have a…

Free To Be supports particularly vulnerable children to  begin to change their stories about who they are, and who they can be. We help children who have often grown up with significant adversity or hardship to more often feel proud of themselves and to experience feeling brave, adventurous, included and successful - often for the first time in a long time. 

We do this via overnight adventures and nature based residentials; after-school groups; and mentoring support. We work using the inherent power of the outdoors, animals, nature and self-expression - all of which are integral to the programmes we run. Children experience meeting animals at the farm, building dens in the forest, building rafts in teams to paddle across a lake, standing on the beach for the first time, cooking together in groups, camping out under the stars and a wide range of other activities all carefully designed to both broaden horizons, but also to scaffold the building of self-confidence, resilience, and trust in others.

Our Driver volunteers are integral in making our projects work! As many of our young people would be unable to get to a central meeting point, we go and pick them all up from their houses at the start of the project and drop them off again at the end. We also go out to activities in the minibus each day and unsurprisingly, when asked to draw a picture to summarise their week at Free to Be, many of the children have the minibus as a key feature! It’s where a lot of the important chats, silly games and loud singing happens and can really be the heart of the project. 

Our drivers have the important responsibility of safely driving the minibus but they also offer an important presence to the children. As the children are not with them 24/7 (unlike their group leaders!), the drivers are often seen as an authority figure who can offer an air of calm organisation on the activity days. 

We pay for all of our drivers to do their MiDAS training to make sure that they are completely comfortable driving the minibus before they come on project. 

 You will also gain full training in working with children and safeguarding. You’ll gain confidence, make a huge difference to the lives of these children and meet some incredible other like-minded volunteers.

If you’re looking for an exciting and rewarding volunteering opportunity, get in touch! 


Time commitment

We ask that you commit to volunteering for 1 week (1 project) every year.

This organisation is one of our community partner organisations.

Like all volunteer recruiters we work with, they have signed up to our service standards, agreeing to abide by our policy on partnership working.

In addition, the team here at Students’ Union UCL Volunteering Service is here to support you throughout your volunteering journey – you can get in touch at any time with any questions, queries or problems you encounter.